Many aspects of human society and the natural environment are sensitive to weather and climate. Impact on the built environment Climate change could have a dramatic effect on the way we build houses in the future. Thermal expansion — as water warms it expands, like liquid in a thermometer. Most of the possible ways of doing this fall into one of two groups — mitigation or adaptation.
Global sea levels have gone up, glaciers and sea ice have melted, and extreme weather events, like floods and droughts, are likely to happen more often.
Scientists estimate that if global temperatures continue to rise unchecked, the Greenland ice sheet could melt completely in a few thousand years, pushing up global sea-level by up to seven metres. Even if all our emissions stopped today, it is likely that we would experience climate change for at least the next 30-40 years.
A warming climate will heat the oceans, causing sea-levels to rise. Impact on transport Extreme weather, including floods, heatwaves and snowstorms, has a major impact on the transport network of the UK.
Increasing temperatures — global surface temperature records estimate that the Earth has warmed by about 0. It was followed by a cooler period, known as the Little Ice Age.
However, as temperatures rise, deaths from cold-related diseases might be expected to reduce, especially in countries like the UK. Looks at the evidence from oxygen isotopes in ice cores from Antarctica going back 11,500 to 135,000 years to illustrate global warming.
As our climate warms, the ice sheet will melt and reduce in size. Scientists have already observed changes in many natural and human environments that are more than likely due to a warming planet.
Summers like 2003, which was an unprecedented event, could become a relatively normal summer by the 2040s. The changes seen over recent years, and those predicted for the next century, are considered to be mainly the result of human behaviour.
Many aspects of our lives and lifestyles here in the UK could be affected by climate change — both positively and negatively. Other areas of high biodiversity, such as those in South Africa, may see losses of species as habitat conditions change too quickly for plants and animals to adapt.
As temperatures rise there is more chance of soil drying out during spring and summer. It is important to remember that despite climate change, we will still suffer occasional severe winters, so we will have to continue to prepare for the impacts snow and ice have on our transport network.
An increase in the number or intensity of extreme events could have an impact on UK agriculture.
Impact on agriculture Higher year-round temperatures and longer growing seasons could mean that new crops flourish in the UK although warmer temperatures might make it easier for diseases and pests to survive milder UK winters.
Scientific research has shown that if global temperatures rise unchecked, then it could melt completely over several thousand years — pushing up global sea-levels by up to 7 metres. Impacts on the developing world The environmental stresses of climate change will be felt across the globe, but it seems likely that poorer countries will see the most severe effects.
It says that human activity is the main cause of the changes seen in climate during recent decades. Flooding of sewerage systems in urban areas could increase due to more heavy rainfall. A lot of people, from scientists to politicians to the general public, want to find ways of reducing the negative impacts of climate change and enhancing the positive ones. Examples of adaptation may be modifying our buildings so they remain cool during the hotter summers, managing flood risk or animals moving further north or to higher altitude, if they can, to cope with the rising temperatures.